Coffee table books are in a category of their own because they serve a number of uses. Not only are they first and foremost a book containing words and pictures relating to subjects you’re interested in, but they add personality to your home and are just as much a certified decorative piece as say, a houseplant or a mirror.
If you’re the type to impress, it can even be something that says you’re a suave, sophisticated man who is just as capable of bringing some elegance into the home as he is dressing himself.
When it comes to accessorising your home with a few coffee table books, it’s not as simple as buying the first large hardback book you lay your eyes on. You’ll still want to put some thought into it.
But to help you out, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite coffee table books available right now that are guaranteed to bring pleasure to you and any ‘special guests’ who drop by for a cup of coffee.
Sorted into seven categories (Art & Photography, Fashion, Film, Food, Architecture & Design, Watches, and Cars) to help you navigate which books align with your interests, all of the following books are sophisticated and will elevate your coffee table.
Art & Photography
There’s nothing wrong with a little nudity in one’s abode. Maybe even some tasteful artistic photography to spice things up. This selection of timeless coffee table books feature the likes of photography legends, Helmut Newton and Ralph Gibson, as well as supermodel Naomi Campbell’s print work.
SUMO by Helmut Newton - US$150
NAOMI by Naomi Campbell - US$150
Nude by Ralph Gibson - US$50
1000 Nudes by Uwe Scheid Collection - US$20
You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate fashion. These books cover menswear, designers, and even style icons, like NBA superstar Russell Westbrook. They’ll make the perfect accompaniment to your cool coffee table.
The Ultimate Sneaker Book by Sneaker Freaker - US$50
Tom Ford by Tom Ford, Bridget Foley, & Anna Wintour - US$140
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan Flusser - US$50
Style Drivers Deluxe Edition by Russell Westbrook - US$350
Are you a huge movie or pop culture fanatic? Then these film inspired coffee table books will help add a cinematic feel to your home. With classics like Rocky and Star Wars, you’ll definitely get guests (and yourself) stopping to flick through a few pages.
The James Bond Archives by Paul Duncan - US$200
Rocky. The Complete Films (Limited Signed Edition) by Sylvester Stallone - US$1250
Taxi Driver by Steve Schapiro - US$1500
The Star Wars Archives by Paul Duncan - US$200
Meat and men is a combination as good as peanut butter and jelly. Pasta and pinot is too. Inspire your next home cooked meal with this selection of man-food approved books that will make your coffee table or even your kitchen look super professional.
The Ultimate Guide To Meat by Anthony Puharich & Libby Travers - US$45
Bocca: Cookbook by Jacob Kenedy - US$25
The Wines of Gala by Dalí - US$60
The Geometry of Pasta by Catherine Hildebrand & Jacob Kenedy - US$25
Architecture & Design
Pretend you’re a superstar interior designer or architect with this selection of interesting books on home design and cool spaces. Our personal favourite is the book on Soviet architecture. What a great way to bring Putin into a conversation at your next dinner party.
Cabins by Phillip Jodidio - US$20
CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed by Frédéric Chaubin - US$20
Works (Limited Edition) by Marc Newson - US$1250
1000 Chairs by Charlotte & Peter Fiell - US$20
A topic which needs no introduction, but is every man’s secret passion. Whether you give it as a gift or keep them for yourself, every man loves a nice watch. Regardless, if you’re a Rolex guy or an Omega dude, you’ll learn so much with these timeless books (perfect for your coffee table!), causing you to appreciate all watches.
Rolex: The Impossible Collection by Fabienne Reybaud - US$995
The Watch Book Compendium by Gisbert Brunner & Christian Pfeiffer-Belli - US$75
The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches by Ryan Schmidt - US$85
The Impossible Collection of Watches by Nicholas Foulkes - US$895
Lastly, get on the vintage car bandwagon with one of these classic motoring books. Whether you’re a Porsche or Mercedes man, you’ll learn to appreciate the nuances of vintage cars with these enthralling coffee table books highlighting the true beauty of all cars.
The Complete Book of Porsche 911 by Randy Leffingwell - US$55
Ultimate Collector Cars by Charlotte & Peter Fiell - US$250
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL: The Car of the Century by Hans Kleissl & Harry Niemann - US$150
Classic American Cars by Craig Cheetham - US$20